Salon has a new article, ‘MAGA longs to impeach Joe Biden – and un-impeach Donald Trump. It won’t work,’ that opens with an insight that is fairly remarkable for its lack of self-awareness.
“Impeachment talk is in the air. As if Americans don’t have real problems that need addressing, the ultra-conservative wing of the House Republican caucus is spending its time pushing Congress down two simultaneous impeachment paths,” the article begins.
The point is salient. Congress is hemorrhaging time and resources in a nakedly partisan attempt to impeach President Joe Biden and un-impeach Donald Trump. It’s a tactic that the conservative wing of the House deserves criticism for. Fine. The problem, however, is that we are hardly removed from a Democratic-majority House that wasted copious time and resources pursuing flamboyantly absurd impeachments of Donald Trump – not to mention an 18-month January 6th investigation that failed to identify criminal culpability.
The point that I’m making is that wasting time on impeachments and partisan crusades is not a feature of an ultra-conservative Republican-majority House, but is rather simply a feature of the modern-day House – regardless of who is in the majority.
Dual Impeachment Agendas
Okay, lack of context or self-awareness aside, the Salon article makes some factual observations.
“First comes the right’s longstanding desire to launch an impeachment investigation of President Biden. As loyal followers of Donald Trump, the MAGA caucus aims to throw as much dirt at Biden as possible, in the hope of sullying his reputation and damaging his prospects for re-election,” the article said.
Yes, but is this distinct in any way from how the Democrats operate? Did the Democrats not aim “to throw as much dirt” at Trump “as possible in the hope of sullying his reputation and damaging his prospects for re-election?” The Democrats actually pulled it off. Trump was defeated in the 2020 election, in large part because they had so successfully convinced portions of the public that a) Trump was a threat to democracy itself, b) Trump was botching the federal government’s response to COVID, c) Trump was a Russian agent, and d) so on and so forth.
The article continues. “Second, many of these same MAGA acolytes want to rewrite history by taking the unprecedented and fanciful step of expunging the record of Trump’s two impeachments,” the article said, adding that the Republican’s efforts “calls to mind a Russian saying from Stalinist times, when rewriting history to suit and flatter a totalitarian leader was de rigeur: ‘Russia is a country with a certain future; it is only the past that is unpredictable.’”
But let’s not disregard how “unprecedented and fanciful” the impeachments were, to begin with. The first in particular, was when Trump was impeached on the basis of a full-blown conspiracy theory, that he was coordinating with the Russian government. And don’t think the Stalinist quote from Salon is a coincidence – it’s very much a reference to the long-accepted fallacy that Trump is beholden to Russia.
The article continues in a similar vein, equating Republican expungement efforts to “Stalin’s unsuccessful efforts to purge the memory of Vladimir Lenin” and “the clumsy efforts of Soviet secret police to eradicate murdered “enemies of the state” from photographs.” It’s not subtle and it’s not clever and it’s a dog whistle to the left who has accepted wholesale a conspiracy theory and won’t let it go.
To be clear: I don’t condone Republican leadership of the House – but I don’t think it’s especially distinct from Democratic leadership, either.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.